The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is a single exam course that enables the entry-level IT professionals to come up with business solutions making use of Cisco switches and routers. The certification also provides knowledge about the configuration, installation, and maintenance LANs, WANs, and dial-up networks using IP, Ethernet, frame relay, and other protocols. Additionally, they learn to configure servers, routers, and other network or security devices.
On the other hand, the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) training too is designed for fresh IT professionals. Pursuing this course requires owning a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) credential as its prerequisite, and it takes passing a few core hands-on exams on the selected specialization to bag this degree.
Let’s compare the ABCDs of CCNA and MCSE certifications
|STANDS FOR||Cisco Certified Network Associate||Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert|
|SPECIALIZATION OPTIONS||CCNA offers an array of specialization to pick from, namely – service provider, data center, industrial, cloud, and routing and switching.||MCSE aspirants get to choose specializing in areas like – business applications, cloud platform and infrastructure, data management and analytics, mobility, and productivity.|
|RECERTIFICATION||CCNA certifications expire after three years and thus, recertification is required. It can be done by passing an ongoing CCNA exam in one of the other specialty areas or by appearing in a certification exam offered at an advanced level||MCSE certifications must be recertified every three years by taking up a recertification exam. The exam is based on the same content as the original certification exam in the same specialization area, but it concentrates more on recent advances in the field to ensure rhythming with current modifications.|
Now, let’s have a quick look at the pros and cons of CCNA and MCSE courses
|Cisco is well-respected as manufacturer of enterprise-grade IT infrastructure||Microsoft is globally renowned|
|Provides versatile skills that can be applied to many other IT brands, not just limited to one.||MCSE has managed to obtain higher popularity|
|It furnishes with experience through Cisco IT equipment||Provides with Microsoft servers and software hands-on experience|
|The Cisco certification is expensive||Since not all networks are Microsoft-based, it’s difficult to apply knowledge to other platforms|
|This certification is difficult to obtain.||This only focuses on the Microsoft best practice method|
CCNA Vs. MCSE : WHY NOT BOTH?
Considering the pros overweighing cons in case of CCNA as well as MCSE courses, bagging both certifications undoubtedly gives the best boost your career can possibly have at the very beginning, as they are rather more complementary than competitive. Also, the dual certification gets you a much higher paying job. Though both the certifications have their own bunch of benefits in store for freshers, the prime differentiating factor is that the Cisco certifications solely concentrate on hardware and network engineering while the Microsoft certifications are geared towards server-side maintenance and software. Comparing both, the multiple-exam (7) and more demanding criteria of MCSE clearly beats the entry-level, single exam status CCNA.